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9 Cheap Ways to Work Out at Home

Posted on 1/13/2015 10:38 EST

The beginning of a new year often means weight-loss resolutions and promises to stick to a budget. It can be hard to meet either goal, let alone both. A gym membership that goes unused continues to drain a bank account, and while you can always lace up a pair of new running shoes and head outside on a regular basis, some of us need more structure. Here, then, are several cheap approaches to at-home fitness.

cheap home fitness ideas
Photo by Syda Productions/shutterstock

Pop in a DVD.

You don't need thousand-dollar treadmills and weight machines to get a good full-body workout at home. Dumbbells or elastic bands do the job for resistance training, and a jump rope can help increase cardio performance. Once you've determined what type of training you want to start with, finding a realistic plan you can stick with is important. A workout DVD is one way to go, and Cheapism's guide to workout DVDs features several that cost $10 or less and receive many positive reviews.

Join a Community.

Finding support, either online or off, is an important part of keeping a workout plan on track. Even with a program to guide individual exercise, teaming up is a motivational booster. Online communities such as Reddit's r/fitness, are also filled with thousands of fitness fanatics willing to share advice and support.

Vary Online Workouts.

There are numerous downloadable ways to work your body. A notable option is Gorilla Workout, which provides a number of different exercises -- everything included for 99 cents. DailyBurn features a huge variety of workouts, from yoga to kettlebells, led by different personal trainers. Take note: there's a $12.95 per month fee after the 30-day free trial.

Turn Exercise into a Game.

If you love video games and need a push to get off the couch, you'll find kindred spirits at Fitocracy, which has users record their workouts to complete quests and "level up". Another popular downloadable fitness game is Zombies, Run! which boasts more than 800,000 participants. The app turns a run into a survival adventure as players dodge zombies and stockpile supplies with each mile.

Exercise Fast and Furiously.

The New York Times currently lists two free 7-minute workouts, both of which supposedly target the whole body. Another home workout option is Max Capacity Training. It's free, easy-to-use, and well suited for people who are short on time and don't stock any equipment. The fitness program entails 16 minutes a day, three days a week, for 12 weeks. The app clearly explains how each exercise is performed, serves as a timer for the workout, and can be used to track progress. To make the most of limited time, Max Capacity Training combines high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and bodyweight exercises that are progressively harder as each week goes by.

Pose On Demand.

Some quick searching can lead you to numerous apps that provide everything from ab workouts to yoga classes. Yoga Studio, for example, charges just $4 to create a customized order of poses and also lets you choose from the 65 classes offered.

Try Personalized Online Training.

For one-on-one support and advice, a personal trainer who can help improve almost any routine is key -- and often pricey. To keep costs down and the at-home fitness program theme going, consider an online personal trainer. Although the trainer won't be able to move your body into the proper position, the expert can help create custom workouts and diets, define goals, and keep you committed. JWW Fitness offers private sessions via Skype, with prices depending on how many sessions you sign up for.

Work Out or Pay Up.

If you really need a kick in the pants to maintain an at-home fitness program, several services link hard-earned money with working out. Pact is an app that tracks workouts at the gym, at home, or with imported data from running apps and fitness trackers. The catch is that you must hand over your credit card information and agree to work out a set number of times each week. If you don't follow through, you pay at least $5 for a missed workout; if you do keep up, you earn a share of the penalties paid by the laggards. Pact also lets you wager on how many fruits and vegetables you eat each week.

Weigh Your Wager.

Although some people exercise solely for the purpose of becoming more fit, weight loss is typically a big motivator. DietBet users place a bet, typically $25 to $35, on whether they'll be able to lose 4 percent of their weight in four weeks or 10 percent in six months. After the time is up, users who hit the mark get to split the pot leftover from those who didn't meet the goal.

by Louis DeNicola (Google+ Profile)

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